The Lovely Sexpert
Diane Farr on romance, Loveline, and stained penises

Aformer Miss New York, turned bar manager, turned actress, turned Los Angeles prison acting teacher (we all have our hobbies), Diane Farr was picked by MTV to add feminine, dulcet tones to its sex-focused call-in show Loveline. With her sardonic grin and whiskey-soaked voice, it seemed an odd choice, but she's found her place among male cohorts Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla. With two seasons under her belt, she admits she leaves the feminine perspective to soft-touch Dr. Drew and lets her New York roots show -- serving up her opinion tough-love style.

See also...
... by Elizabeth Millard
... in the Dirt section
... from September 1, 1999

GETTINGIT: Does listening to sexually confused callers every night put any kind of weird spin on your dating life?

DIANE FARR: It makes it funny, in a strange way. I think initially anyone I'm going out on a date with has that five minute panic that I'm potentially going to talk about the relationship on a national show. Loveline was also the first experience I had with major visibility. When you have that, you have to watch why people are paying attention to you. Another problem is the lack of anonymity... People come up and ask things.

GI: Ask you sex questions in public?

DF: Definitely. The funniest ever was when Dr. Drew and I were at an event, just sitting at some table, and these two guys walked up and said: "Hi, we're gay and we're on ecstasy, so is there a problem with us having sex tonight?" And I thought to myself, how the hell did I get this job?

GI: What's the worst call you've heard on the show?

DF: On my first day I got a call from a 16-year-old girl in the Midwest who was trying to have a baby with her boyfriend who used cocaine. She wanted to know if the coke was affecting her chances of getting pregnant. I told her to first, go into the living room and smack her mother, then go get a babysitting job.

GI: And the weirdest call?

DF: In terms of Springer-esque, I'd say it was the one where a guy called up saying that he'd masturbated into a soda bottle, and the bottle got stuck on his penis and left a purple ring around the shaft. The ring had been there for three months and he wanted to know if it was permanent. And actually it was -- he'd damaged the melanin.

GI: After being on the show for two years, do you see changes in the way you work with Dr. Drew and Adam?

DF: At first they didn't quite know what to do with me. They'd talk so fast I couldn't get a word in and they forgot that I was there for my opinion, not to lay out my own sexual history. But now things are working very well, and we've all found our place. We end up having stock sets of questions that are ours.

GI: What questions are considered yours?

DF: Predominantly females who have been abused, molestation victims, victims of what we would call overparenting, which leads to anorexia. I'm also always [given the male callers] who say, "my penis is really small and women don't want to go out with me." I have to tell them that a relationship is based on an entire person, it doesn't come down to one part of your anatomy, and the problem is really confidence. It's like high school when you think you can't get a date unless you're the captain of the football team, but then you find out when you finish your M.B.A. at Harvard, girls are knocking down your door.

GI: Is there anything you don't like about doing the show?

DF: The problem with Loveline is that we have eight minutes to turn around 10 years of abuse. I mean, if someone gets to a point in their life where the only people they have to turn to are three strangers on a late night show then they're pretty far gone. I always get asked if the questions and the callers on the show are real, and the saddest thing is that they are.

I think our show is actually more conservative than America wants to admit. People keep looking to see if violence in films affects kids, but they don't pay attention to the fact that their 15-year-old is getting sex information from TV. That's pretty sad.

GI: Apart from Loveline, you teach acting at a maximum-security men's prison in L.A. What's that like?

DF: Great. On my first day I realized that almost all of my students couldn't read, so I'd say the lines and they'd memorize them. By the end of 14 weeks they were doing a monologue from King Lear. Watching murderers, rapists, and child molesters get up and do Lear was the most amazing thing. We've just finished making a documentary about it that we're shopping around. After this experience, I definitely believe in the rehabilitation process.

GI: What's coming up for you in the future?

DF: Professionally, I'm doing a recurring role on The Drew Carey Show, and I'm about to start a new show called Roswell on the WB. It's a cross between the X Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've just finished a film with Michael Madsen called Sacrifice -- a psychological thriller that's due out early next year. I also have the starring role in a romantic comedy called Little Indiscretions that should come out next summer. On a personal level, I'll be doing the millennium in Egypt -- riding a camel to a party between two giant pyramids. And hopefully, I see myself giving a lot less advice and getting a lot more.

Elizabeth Millard lives in Boston, the world's largest college town. Her work has appeared in Detour, Liquid, and The Boston Phoenix.